How inflammation affects us
INFLAMMATION is part of the body’s immune response by which white blood cells and immune-fighting chemicals work to protect the body from infective foreign substances such as bacteria, viruses and injuries.
An acute inflammation starts immediately after an injury. It is usually mild and short-lived with signs and symptoms lasting a few days.
However, it may progress to chronic inflammation if the acute response cannot be resolved.
A prolonged inflammatory process known as chronic inflammation can linger for several months to years and is believed to be the root of a myriad of diseases.
One huge contributing factor to inflammation is dietary choices. Sugar and other high-glycemic food are the major culprits.
They increase blood sugar levels and trigger the release of insulin, which in turn results in a proinflammatory response. Processed food, high-fat food, meat, dairy and wheat products also trigger inflammation.
Obesity or being overweight may increase the risk of chronic inflammation. Obese people have a large store of adipose tissues, which produce pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Lack of physical activities is also associated with development of inflammation. Sleep deprivation, stress and other poor lifestyle habits such as smoking, recreational drug use and excessive alcohol consumption can prompt our immune response and eventually result in pro-inflammatory processes in the body.
Many depend on over-thecounter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, aspirin or naproxen to manage pain, inflammation and stiffness. NSAIDs work by blocking the prostaglandins, the chemical messengers responsible for pain and inflammation, through the inhibition of COX-2 enzymes.
However, at the same time, they also inhibit the COX-1 enzymes, which keep the lining of the digestive tract and blood vessels intact.
This will cause a multitude of harmful gastrointestinal side effects. COX-2 inhibitors can selectively block COX-2 enzymes, which may be good for pain management, but long-term usage can promote clotting and increase risk of heart
attack and stroke.
Curcumin, the natural approach to treating inflammation
You probably know turmeric is a culinary spice. Besides culinary uses, it also offers great medicinal benefits. Curcumin, the active compound from turmeric, is used as an intervention for inflammatory diseases. This potent anti-inflammatory agent offers safe and effective therapeutic benefits in alleviating inflammation and pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis, gastritis, cystitis and other inflammatory conditions. It only inhibits the action of COX-2 enzymes while preserving the COX-1. Unlike NSAIDs, it relieves joint pain without causing any gastrointestinal side effects.
There is a relatively low amount of curcumin in curry powder. The spice only contains a low concentration of 5% to 7% curcumin. The patented C3 Curcumin Complex extract is standardised to contain 95% total curcuminoids, including curcumin, bisdemethoxy curcumin and demethoxy curcumin.
While pure curcumin is poorly absorbed into your bloodstream after oral ingestion, its bioavailibilty can be significantly improved by adding a black-pepper extract known as piperine. BioPerine is the patented black pepper which can enhance the absorption rate of curcumin.
Curcumin provides a natural approach to reduce inflammation and also to address the underlying causes, as well as to strengthen the body as a whole.
For maximum efficacy, look out for curcumin supplement formulated with standardised curcumin extract and piperine extract for enhanced absorption.
This article is brought to you by VitaHealth. For queries, contact VitaHealth at 03-7729 3873.